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Impact of Telemedicine on Utilization of Psychiatric Resources in New York City during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Ricklan, Sarah J; Sohler, Nancy; Ezie, C E Chiemeka; Avalone, Lynsey; Dinsell, Victoria; Lewis, Crystal; Fattal, Omar; Balan, Sabish; McQuistion, Hunter; Pastore, Frank; Sarcevic, Nermica; Swift, Ronnie; Espejo, Gemma; Lorenz, Carina
This study sought to evaluate the impact of telepsychiatry during the COVID-19 pandemic among patients discharged from psychiatric inpatient units in the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation system. We compared patients discharged to telepsychiatry (April 2020, n = 739) and in-person follow-up (May 2019, n = 527); we collected number, timing and attendance for follow-up appointments and number and timing of emergency room (ER) visits and readmissions. We used logistic regression to evaluate the odds of having these encounters and Kaplan-Meier analyses to compare time to these encounters. Patients discharged in 2020 were more likely to have a follow-up (29.4 vs. 19.9%, p < 0.001) and an ER visit or readmission (40.5 vs. 28.7%, p < 0.001). Kaplan-Meier analyses showed shorter time to first follow-up (chi-square = 14.69, d.f.=1, p < 0.0001, follow-ups = 322) and ER visit or readmission (chi-square = 19.57, d.f.=1, p < 0.0001, ER visits or admissions = 450) in the 2020 cohort. In multivariable analyses, patients discharged in 2020 were more likely to have a follow-up visit (adjusted OR 1.85, 95% confidence interval 1.40, 2.45, p < 0.0001). We found an increase in psychiatric service utilization during the pandemic, with an increase in and shorter time until outpatient visits and ER visits or readmissions. Although increased use of psychiatric services during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic is encouraging, it also points to the depth of the crisis among vulnerable populations; this pattern warrants further exploration and intervention.
PMID: 38105337
ISSN: 1573-2789
CID: 5612592

Ventilatory Burden as a Measure of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Severity Is Predictive of Cardiovascular and All-Cause Mortality

Parekh, Ankit; Kam, Korey; Wickramaratne, Sajila; Tolbert, Thomas M; Varga, Andrew; Osorio, Ricardo; Andersen, Monica; de Godoy, Luciana B M; Palombini, Luciana O; Tufik, Sergio; Ayappa, Indu; Rapoport, David M
PMID: 37698405
ISSN: 1535-4970
CID: 5594042

The Color of Autonomy: Examining Racial Inequity in Coercive Institutional Practices

Lekas, Helen-Maria; Lewis, Crystal; Bradley, Mark V; Pahl, Kerstin
Two articles recently published in this journal identified racial inequities in routine psychiatric practice. This Open Forum discusses the need for a paradigm shift in inequities research. The two articles reviewed here, one by Shea and colleagues on racial-ethnic inequities in inpatient psychiatric civil commitment and one by Garrett and colleagues on racial-ethnic disparities in psychiatric decisional capacity consultations, are examples of the new research gaze. Four topics are identified for enhancing understanding of racism and other forms of structural exclusion in psychiatric practice: medical authority and power imbalance between providers and patients, involuntary psychiatric commitment and requests for decisional capacity consultations as strategic research events, limited use of theory, and limitations of the literature on psychiatric inequities.
PMID: 37143336
ISSN: 1557-9700
CID: 5521572

Caregiver knowledge of obstructive sleep apnoea in Down syndrome

Giménez, S; Tapia, I E; Fortea, J; Levedowski, D; Osorio, R; Hendrix, J; Hillerstrom, H
BACKGROUND:Down syndrome (DS) population has a very high prevalence of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), but this remains underdiagnosed. Hence, we aimed to evaluate caregiver's knowledge of OSA and related sociodemographic factors that could contribute to OSA screening patterns in this population. METHODS:An online survey though the LuMind IDSC Foundation focused on OSA diagnosis, treatments and the number of sleep studies performed. Data were compared between subjects born before and after the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations for OSA screening. RESULTS:Of the caregivers, 724 (parents 96.3%), responded to the survey. The median [interquartile (IQR)] age of the subjects with DS was 12 [20;7] years. The majority (84.3%) had sleep apnoea diagnosis, and half of them were initially referred for a sleep study due to disturbed sleep symptoms. Only 58.7% of the responders were aware of the AAP recommendations. This was linked to higher socioeconomic and/or educational level and to an earlier OSA diagnosis. The median (IQR) age of OSA diagnosis was lowered after the AAP guidelines publication compared with before its publication (3 [4;2] years vs. 10 [18;5] years, P < 0.000). Adenotonsillectomy (81.9%) and continuous positive airway pressure (61.5%) were the most commonly prescribed treatments. Few had discussed other new therapies such as hypoglossal nerve stimulation (16.0%). Only 16.0% of the subjects repeated the sleep study to monitor OSA with ageing, and 30.2% had to wait more than 4 years between studies. CONCLUSIONS:This study reinforces the need to improve OSA knowledge of caregivers and clinicians of individuals with DS to promote an earlier diagnosis and optimal treatment of OSA in this population.
PMID: 36416001
ISSN: 1365-2788
CID: 5381652

Explanations Underlying the Lack of Utility of Diagnostic Depression Scales in Black Americans

Jones, Gerald; Drake, Christin; Lewis, Crystal Fuller
Major depression disorder is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. However, Black Americans are often underdiagnosed, misdiagnosed, or not treated for depression. Limited research has been conducted on the utility of diagnostic tools in identifying depression in the Black community and could explain lack of research and public health attention to mental illness in this population. Other explanations discussed include greater ability to cope with stressful situations and the myth of the "˜resiliency expectation,"™ social activism and positive health outcomes, and lack of trust in institutions due to structural and interpersonal racism. Further research that provides contextualized results is warranted to better understand and recognize symptoms of depression, and development of more effective treatment modalities. [Psychiatr Ann. 2022;52(12):504-508.].
ISSN: 0048-5713
CID: 5408492

Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training and impact on mental illness and substance use-related stigma among law enforcement

Nick, Gilbert A; Williams, Sharifa; Lekas, Helen-Maria; Pahl, Kerstin; Blau, Chloe; Kamin, Don; Fuller-Lewis, Crystal
Limited empirical data and research exists about stigmatizing attitudes and perceptions held by law enforcement officers towards persons with mental illness and substance use issues. Pre- and post-training survey data from 92 law enforcement personnel who attended a 40-hour Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training was used to investigate training-related changes in mental illness stigma and substance use stigma. Training participant's mean age was 38.35 ± 9.50 years, majority white non-Hispanic race/ethnicity (84.2%), male gender (65.2%), and reported job category as road patrol (86.9%). Pre-training, 76.1% endorsed at least one stigmatizing attitude towards people with mental illness, and 83.7% held a stigmatizing attitude towards those with substance use problems. Poisson regression revealed that working road patrol (RR=0.49, p<0.05), awareness of community resources (RR=0.66, p<0.05), and higher levels of self-efficacy (RR=0.92, p<0.05) were associated with lower mental illness stigma pre-training. Knowledge of communication strategies (RR=0.65, p<0.05) was associated with lower pre-training substance use stigma. Post-training, improvement in knowledge of community resources and increases in self-efficacy were significantly associated with decreases in both mental illness and substance use stigma. These findings highlight the existence of stigma related to both mental illness and substance use pre-training suggesting the need for implicit and explicit bias training prior to the start of active law enforcement duty. These data are consistent with prior reports indicating CIT trainings as a path to address mental illness and substance use stigma. Further research on effects of stigmatizing attitudes and additional stigma-specific training content is warranted.
PMID: 36844168
ISSN: 2772-7246
CID: 5521562

Self-reported anxiety and depression problems and suicide ideation among black and latinx adults and the moderating role of social support

Williams, Sharifa Z; Lewis, Crystal Fuller; Muennig, Peter; Martino, Daniele; Pahl, Kerstin
Suicide is a critical public health problem. Over the past decade, suicide rates have increased among Black and Latinx adults in the U.S. Though depression is the most prevalent psychiatric contributor to suicide risk, Black and Latinx Americans uniquely experience distress and stress (e.g., structural adversity) that can independently operate to worsen suicide risk. This makes it important to investigate non-clinical, subjective assessment of mental health as a predictor of suicide ideation. We also investigate whether social support can buffer the deleterious impact of poor mental health on suicide ideation.We analyzed data from 1,503 Black and Latinx participants of the Washington Heights Community Survey, a 2015 survey of residents of a NYC neighborhood. Multivariable logistic regression was conducted to examine the effect of subjectively experienced problems with anxiety and depression on suicide ideation independent of depression diagnosis, and the role of social support as a moderator.Estimated prevalence of past two-week suicide ideation was 5.8%. Regression estimates showed significantly increased odds of suicide ideation among participants reporting moderate (OR = 8.54,95% CI = 2.44-29.93) and severe (OR = 16.84,95% CI = 2.88-98.46) versus no problems with anxiety and depression, after adjustment for depression diagnosis. Informational support, i.e., having someone to provide good advice in a crisis, reduced the negative impact of moderate levels of anxiety and depression problems on suicide ideation.Findings suggest that among Black and Latinx Americans, subjective feelings of anxiety and depression account for a significant portion of the suicide ideation risk related to poor mental health. Further, social support, particularly informational support, may provide protection against suicide ideation.
PMID: 35921053
ISSN: 1573-3610
CID: 5288082

Examining the Multilevel Barriers to Pharmacy-Based HIV Prevention and Treatment Services

Crawford, Natalie D; Lewis, Crystal F; Moore, Ronnie; Pietradoni, Glen; Weidle, Paul
PMID: 35550478
ISSN: 1537-4521
CID: 5350862

Anti-Asian Attitudes in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic: an Exploratory Study

Pahl, Kerstin; Wang, John; Sanichar, Navin; Williams, Sharifa; Nick, Gilbert A; Wang, Lisa; Lekas, Helen-Maria
OBJECTIVE:The purpose of this paper was to measure if people with greater "structural literacy," as indicated by greater awareness of racial and socioeconomic disparities in COVID-19 impact, would hold fewer negative attitudes against those perceived to be Asian in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS:A survey was administered between April and August 2020 to participants from two longitudinal cohorts in New York State. The survey assessed anti-Asian attitudes relating to COVID-19, awareness of racial and socioeconomic disparities in COVID-19, residential location, socioeconomic status, and other demographic information. The sample included 233 Black, Latinx, and White midlife adults from urban, suburban, and rural New York neighborhoods. Multivariable regression modeling was used to assess associations between COVID-19 disparities awareness, an indicator of structural literacy, and anti-Asian attitudes, adjusting for gender, race/ethnicity, residential location, and socioeconomic disadvantage. RESULTS:Greater awareness of disparities in COVID-19 was associated with lower levels of anti-Asian attitudes after adjustment (adj-slope =  - 0.358, p < 0.001). CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Greater structural literacy, as measured by awareness of socioeconomic and racial disparities in COVID-19 impact, was associated with fewer anti-Asian attitudes among Black, Latinx, and White adults. IMPLICATIONS/CONCLUSIONS:Increasing structural literacy may reduce anti-Asian attitudes that motivate harmful acts against oppressed groups.
PMID: 35913546
ISSN: 2196-8837
CID: 5287842

The Impacts of COVID-19 on a Statewide Population With Mental Illness

Rodgers, Ian T; Samaranayake, Dhanushki; Anderson, Adrienne; Capobianco, Linda; Cohen, Dana E; Ehntholt, Amy; Feeney, Suzanne; Leckman-Westin, Emily; Marinovic, Sonia; Smith, Thomas E; Dixon, Lisa B; Lekas, Helen-Maria; Lewis-Fernández, Roberto; Saake, Amanda
OBJECTIVE:This survey examined the experiences of individuals receiving treatment in a large public mental health system during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS:The survey, conducted between May and June 2020, assessed four domains: impacts on mental health, experiences with telehealth, access to care and resources, and sources and adequacy of support. Descriptive analyses were conducted. RESULTS:Of 4,046 respondents, 70% reported increases in their anxiety and stress because of the pandemic. A majority (55%) reported experiencing challenges related to the social determinants of health and functional needs. Most respondents reported that their care went undisrupted, with 92% using telehealth and 90% reporting feeling adequately supported. CONCLUSIONS:The pandemic substantially affected individuals with mental illness, particularly with regard to mental health related to the social determinants of health and functional needs. However, respondents felt that their mental health care was maintained and that they were adequately supported.
PMID: 34587787
ISSN: 1557-9700
CID: 5521582